Conflicting Guidance?

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Conflicting Guidance?

Postby razor_strop » Mon May 10, 2010 12:52 pm

On the back of the ESLSP workbook detailing "The 12 Steps from Life to Eagle", Step 9 states in part "In no case should a relative or guardian of the candidate attend the review, even as a unit leader". Ok, that seems to fall within common sense to eliminate undue influence on the decision. However, under "Youth Protection & Adult Leadership" the G2SS states "The Boy Scouts of America does not recognize any secret organizations as part of its program. All aspects of the Scouting program are open to observation by parents and leaders" (emphasis mine). Since an EBOR is undoubtedly an "aspect of the Scouting program", it would seem that if a parent insisted on attending an EBOR, they couldn't be denied according to the G2SS. No, this hasn't occured yet--I'm just thinking aloud and am curious to the opinions of others.
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby PaulSWolf » Mon May 10, 2010 1:29 pm

They can observe, preferably from a substantial distance. (Say from an adjacent room, through a window, or in a large room from a far corner.) They cannot contribute to the discussion in any form.
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby razor_strop » Mon May 10, 2010 2:00 pm

Thanks Paul! Since even a unit leader can only observe, not participate, in an EBOR, I figured it would be the same for a parent. Great idea on the "from a distance" point; it allows for the observation guaranteed by G2SS, but sticks to what I gather is the spirit of the intent (no parent involvement) as outlined in the ESLSP. I hope this never comes up, but I recall hearing something somewhere about being prepared. :wink:
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby scoutaholic » Mon May 10, 2010 8:50 pm

The way things normally work around here is that the SM and Parents are invited to come. The SM introduces the boy to the board, and the parents are given a minute to brag about their boy. Then the SM and parents are asked to leave and wait outside for the rest of the review. Scout talks to the board for a while, and then goes out with his parents and the SM while the board "deliberates". They are all invited back in to hear the decision of the board.

If parents insisted on being allowed to stay, we would have to allow it (like Paul said). I've never seen a parent insist.

As SM, I found an easy way to participate in the boards for most of the boys. In my church they are automatically moved to the Varsity Team when they turn 14. So long as their BOR is held after their 14th birthday, I still get to participate as a member of the board, because I am no longer their unit leader.
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby pipestone1991 » Tue May 11, 2010 6:39 pm

I certainly would hope a parent would not insist on being their for their son's EBOR. That's something they should face on their own.
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby evmori » Wed May 12, 2010 7:06 am

When my son was up for his EBOR, I was the SM and one of my ASM's took him.

I don't think it's proper for a parent to be at an EBOR. Too much pressure on both the BOR and the Scout.
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby lifescoutforlife » Wed May 12, 2010 7:21 am

evmori wrote:When my son was up for his EBOR, I was the SM and one of my ASM's took him.

I don't think it's proper for a parent to be at an EBOR. Too much pressure on both the BOR and the Scout.


I agree, our SM let our Advancement Chair / ASM set in on his son's EBOR.
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby Cowboy » Wed May 12, 2010 9:59 am

The document says that all aspects are open to observation by the parents and leaders. If the SM is there, the EBOR is observed by a leader. Having a closed session of any board does not mean secret society, it simply means that there are matters to discuss that are not for the general public. Parents should never sit in a BoR for any rank unless it is at the specific request of the Board. For example if the the Scout is slow at advancement and the Board wants to discuss what can be done to help him. IMHO: A Scout who is Boarding for Eagle should be mature enough to face the board "alone". If he needs Mom & Dad there he is probably not mature enough for the honor that the EBoR is there to determine. I have watched too many boys present Star, Life and Eagle projects to our Troop committee and the whole time they were looking at mom or dad for answers. Before the flame throwers light up: We do have the boys present Star & Life projects to the committee. Practice for the Eagle project. The SM has final say, but the committee has a chance to ask questions also. We have never had a boy refuse to do it.
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby razor_strop » Wed May 12, 2010 10:10 am

No flame thrower here, just a question. The service project requirement for both Star and Life say to take part in projects approved by the Scoutmaster. Are you saying your troop requires a Star or Life Scout to plan his own project, and then individually present that plan to the committee as well as the Scoutmaster? If so, you're right that its good practice for their ESLSP, but I think you'd have a hard time legitimately arguing that this practice isn't adding significantly to the published requirements.
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby smtroop168 » Wed May 12, 2010 10:40 am

Big time adding to the requirements.

If a scout wants to assist in an EP as "taking part" in a service project for his requirement does he brief the EP to the committee or is that not allowed?

Since the EP is already approved by the SM does he need another SM approval?

"We have never had a boy refuse to do it". Of course not. What's your plan for the first one who does?
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby evmori » Wed May 12, 2010 11:37 am

smtroop168 wrote:Big time adding to the requirements.

If a scout wants to assist in an EP as "taking part" in a service project for his requirement does he brief the EP to the committee or is that not allowed?

Since the EP is already approved by the SM does he need another SM approval?

"We have never had a boy refuse to do it". Of course not. What's your plan for the first one who does?



Hmmm..... Does the Scout who is helping another Scout with his ELSP require the SM approval for rank requirement? I would say yes. The SM approval was for the Scout and his ELSP.
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby smtroop168 » Wed May 12, 2010 12:08 pm

evmori wrote:
smtroop168 wrote:Big time adding to the requirements.

If a scout wants to assist in an EP as "taking part" in a service project for his requirement does he brief the EP to the committee or is that not allowed?

Since the EP is already approved by the SM does he need another SM approval?

"We have never had a boy refuse to do it". Of course not. What's your plan for the first one who does?



Hmmm..... Does the Scout who is helping another Scout with his ELSP require the SM approval for rank requirement? I would say yes. The SM approval was for the Scout and his ELSP.


Should go something like this...Hey Mr SM, Jimmy's doing his EP this weekend and I'd like to use the service time for Star..is that okay? "Of course...that's great!"

Not..."Sorry you haven't briefed your service project to the committee yet and they don't meet again for 3 months so you can go help out but it won't count". "That's how we do it in the troop".
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby FieldSports » Wed May 12, 2010 2:19 pm

Our district always has a SM or ASM with the Scout at the EOBR. The parent leader is not allowed to attend, instead sending another leader from the unit. The leader stays with the Scout the whole time. I have been told that is to assist in any question that the Scout may not be able to answer or prevent any questions that are not appropriate to the EBOR (Remember these are not always scouting people). Examples I have heard: "Why didn't you do the required 100 hours of work?" "What will you do when we fail you?" "I see you are Catholic, what did you discuss with your priest last?"

Parents are not invited in till after the decision of the board has been made. Then a synopsis of the answers and questions are told to the parent with the leader and scout present.

PS Taking the initial arguement a little further (and to the extreme) - The parent would be allowed to observe the discussion of the board on Pass/Fail, since this is also "an aspect of scouting"? I think not.
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby Bill Pitcher » Fri May 14, 2010 8:36 am

I'm one of three "Eagle Coordinators" on the Advancement Committee in our council, who run EBoR's. A large area to cover! I ask the SM (or if unavailable, an ASM) to the EBoR, to discuss Requirement #1: "Be active in your troop . . ." Yes, there are two troop committee members there and they may not be "active" enough to know! Also, I ask the SM to discuss Requirement #3, "Serve in a leadership position . . ." I want to know how the candidate did and the problems he overcame. SM's have been very truthful and insightful!
We ask the parents (if in the building) to come in at the end when we render our "unanomus decision" and to let them know how he did, how successfou a Scouting career their son has had, what short cummings there are (usually, not any), and on a rare occasion, what their son has to do to get up to speed if he wasn't ready for the EBoR. AT NO TIME DO WE LET A PARENT SIT IN ON AN EBoR.
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby razor_strop » Mon May 17, 2010 9:16 am

Bill Pitcher wrote:AT NO TIME DO WE LET A PARENT SIT IN ON AN EBoR.


I think the original intent of this post (and I'm confident I understand the original poster's intent :wink: ) was to get us all to think about how we do things, how that compares to BSA policy and to consider how we'd handle the "unconventional" situation. In this case, you say your unit has never allowed a parent to sit in on an EBOR, but if push came to shove, it's something you'd have to consider and find a way to accomodate without compromising the integrity of the EBOR, unless of course you're ok with selectively ignoring BSA policy.
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby FrankJ » Mon May 17, 2010 9:24 am

I think Paul's response is the best answer to this question.
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby razor_strop » Mon May 17, 2010 9:27 am

I agree.
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Mon May 17, 2010 3:44 pm

FieldSports wrote: questions that are not appropriate to the EBOR (Remember these are not always scouting people). Examples I have heard: "Why didn't you do the required 100 hours of work?" "What will you do when we fail you?" "I see you are Catholic, what did you discuss with your priest last?"

Not sure those are actually inappropriate. Our boys are told that ANYthing may be asked of them. "You can see from my documented hours that I put in a substantial amount of work; those hours listed are what was required to complete my project." "That question is moot as I am confident that I have done everything required." "Since you're certainly not asking me about a confidential spiritual conversation, I'm assuming you meant my helping plan the next youth activity. Here are some of the things we discussed..."

Outside of things that violate YPT, the boy ought to be able to answer any question.

Otherwise it leads to the brat whose EBOR was my first. "What does it mean to be reverent?" "I'm not going to answer that, and I don't have to." "PS My dad is an IRS agent, so don't mess with me." Okay, he didn't actually SAY the last part. I never signed his; never agreed to pass him. The council rep signed him off and pushed it through.
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby Cowboy » Tue May 18, 2010 5:57 pm

So far (in my time) we have not had any boys who used another boys ELSP as his Life or Star service. Most of the boys come up with an idea of thier own, and run from there. My son worked at our local fair "parking cars" for one and helped place fish cribs for another. If a boy "refused" to come before the committee, then away he would go to do his project with "only" the SM approval. Our committee meets every month, even in the summer, and a little planning ahead goes a long way. Let's face it, they have 4 months and 6 months for rank and most of the time they already have ideas in mind before they board for a rank.
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Re: Conflicting Guidance?

Postby Mrw » Wed May 19, 2010 8:06 am

With the 54 boys in our troop, if we had to have each one come before the committee for approval for Star and Life service hours, we would never get past that to the things the committee IS supposed to be working on!
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